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This article was published 15/2/2020 (534 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Indigenous and Muslim youth in Winnipeg are invited to get to know each other at a special gathering Sunday.
Longing for Belonging — sponsored by the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre and the Islamic Social Services Association, with financial support from the Winnipeg Foundation — is a free event for youth ages 14 to 20. It’s happening at the United Way (580 Main St.) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Space is limited to 60 participants, but there is still room for a few more, event co-organizer Sarah Parkar of the Islamic association said.
The goal is to "provide a safe space where Indigenous and Muslim youth can learn about each other and break down stereotypes," Parkar said.
She said she also hopes participants will be able to "unpack" misconceptions they might have about each other and "break down barriers of misunderstanding."
Both groups can feel marginalized, she said, noting this common experience could help them find ways to feel accepted and belong.
"We hope they can become friends and build relationships," Parkar said.
Co-organizer Trisha North, who co-ordinates youth-related truth and reconciliation work at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata, said the event will offer young people from both communities a chance to discuss topics that can be "hard to talk about."
"We all want to be accepted for who we are and be respected," North said, noting the event will not dwell on the negative, but "promote the positive aspects of both groups."
"We want this to be a fun event where youth can address hard topics in healthy and positive ways."
The event will also include information about teachings, ceremonies and prayers from each group.
"We want it to be a fun environment where they can get to know each other," North said.
For more information, or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Longhurst has been writing for Winnipeg's faith pages since 2003. He also writes for Religion News Service in the U.S., and blogs about the media, marketing and communications at Making the News.